Pura Vida vs. The American Sprint

Hola mi gente! Hope you’re all doing well, as I understand it is Week 8 at Drexel at the time I am writing this and my thoughts and prayers are with you all. This post will focus more on the Pura Vida lifestyle I have faced here compared to what I will refer to as the American Sprint.

The San Jose National Theater that I walk by everyday on the way to class!

The American Sprint is what I consider the exact opposite of Pura Vida. In the United States, professors expect all of your work on time, no exception, and if you don’t have time or you don’t understand, ha. Good luck! It is a very fast paced lifestyle, even back in high school, it was rush from school to my nannying gig, then home for dinner, and then possibly to the extracurricular that was taking place that night, and then completing homework for all my classes and then waking up at 6:00AM to be at school on time and then repeat for five days a week. Dinner with the family was rare and mostly saved for Sunday nights, as everyone’s life was too busy to all coordinate a time to sit down together and eat. Additionally, once young adults are done with their college career, it is a race to move to graduate school or find a job and move out of our parents’ houses and be complete independents and if you are unable to do so quickly, it is basically looked down upon.

Some everyday views from San Jose

Pura Vida lifestyle is less stress and more enjoyment. My professors here don’t care about single spaced or double spaced, if I explain why I couldn’t complete my assignment in time, they understand and allow an extension (within reason), they are friendly, care about our lives outside of class and recommend trips to take and things to do, and honestly they view us more like people than students. The family dynamic is prioritized, so much so that my family asked me to stay from Sunday night to Monday morning so my host family could spend more time with the kids at the beach and when I was almost late to class where I had an exam my host mom literally said “Pura Vida sí?” And I immediately relaxed, because she was right. I could explain myself to the professor and ask for help if needed (I didn’t need to, but I definitely could have). It is also common for students to finish schooling and then live with their parents for years after they graduate in order to get a secure job and begin a life with a solid foundation from their families. 

Some more everyday views from San Jose

When I rush through the streets to get to class, I feel like I am always the only one running. Everyone else has this serenity almost? And they are just going to get there to get there. I told my parents when they were here that it seems as though people open businesses or work because it contributes to their overall happiness and not directly to their bank account. What a way to live huh? America is much more focused on money than happiness, and I didn’t use to see a problem with that; money can lead to happiness right? However, being here has changed my mind. Ticos have a different idea about what happiness is, and honestly, I think they’re on to something. Alright, do what you wish with that information. It made me sit and think for a little while, but do what you wish! Adios for now!!

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